Today I thought I'd share two new to us recipes that will feed a hungry crowd. And if not feeding a crowd, great for leftovers so you don't need to think about lunch the next day.
The first is a hearty fall soup made in the crockpot. Super simple. While I say soup, it really is more like a chili in consistency. Very filling.
Homemade Minestrone Soup (Slow Cooker)
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 TBS tomato paste
1/4 C sun-dried tomato pesto (we used Stonewall Kitchen brand-it does contain a small amount of dairy, so omit for those with true dairy allergy, ours are sensitivities)
1 parmesan rind (again, omit for dairy allergy, we did not include)
4 Cups vegetable stock (gluten free)
2 Cups water
1 C carrots, diced
1 1/4 C celery, diced
1 1/2 C white onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 sprig rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 can (15oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (we omitted and just double the northern beans due to food sensitivities)
1 can (15oz) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups zucchini, diced
1 1/2 cups tubular pasta (we used gluten free elbow noodles we had on hand)
1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
2 1/2 cups baby spinach, chopped
Finely shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese, for serving (omit for dairy free, or use vegan)
1. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato pesto, parmesan rind, vegetable stock, water, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
2. Add in red kidney beans, great northern beans, zucchini, and pasta and cook on high for an additional 20-25 minutes until pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and green beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes until heated through. Serve warm topped with the parmesan cheese and garlic toast (optional).
The original recipe can be found here.
This next recipe is also a crowd pleaser, and kid friendly too.
Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake
12 ounces Penne Ziti (or any pasta shape) *we used Tinkyada gluten free penne
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 2 chicken breasts) *we used a rotisserie chicken
1 (25 oz) jar Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce (brand of choice)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese *we used So Delicious brand dairy free
1/3 C freshly-grated Parmesan cheese *we used Go Veggie brand vegan
1/4 C packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Cook the pasta al dente in a large stockpot of generously salted water, boiling according to package instructions. Drain and return pasta to the stockpot and add chicken and tomato sauce. Gently toss to combine until the pasta is evenly coated.
3. Pour half of the pasta into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup mozzarella cheese, half the Parmesan cheese and half of the basil. Layer the remaining half of the pasta evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and just barely starts to turn golden. Remove and sprinkle immediately with the remaining Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Serve warm.
Original recipe can be found here.
I get asked a lot about how I go about meal planning for the week. I am working on putting together a post(s) where I will share how I find new recipes to try alongside some old favorites, rotating proteins, grocery shopping (creating a list) and stocking a pantry. I will also try to share some of our favorite gluten free and dairy free brands and products with you.
It's not something that magically happens over night. It takes time, planning and a whole lot of trial and error.
Have a Blessed Weekend Friends!!